Ashley Rice was raised by hippie parents who taught her guns are not the answer.
Then she moved to Missoula to get her master’s degree, and Montana’s gun culture surrounded her.
It scared her, too.
The Nebraska woman, a firm believer in educating herself, decided that instead of being afraid of guns, she would sign up for a firearms safety course.
The first time she pulled the trigger, she hit the bull’s-eye.
“It was a very strangely empowering thing,” Rice said. “I felt really capable, and I’ve never felt capable through anything outside of education before in my life. That was a really weird thing for me.”
Rice is among the many students who are flocking to Gary Marbut’s firearms safety classes this year. Marbut, a firearms expert and author of “Gun Laws of Montana,” holds three or four full classes in a typical spring.
This year, to keep up with demand for the $100, full-day course, he’s teaching twice as many. So far, he said more than half of his enrollment has been made up of women, and some common themes are boosting the count: uncertainty about the political future, lack of security in the economy, and concerns about sexual predators in Missoula.
“I think all of those three things are causing interest to spike, which I think is good,” Marbut said in a recent interview. “People need to learn how to be responsible for themselves and learn how to be in charge of their personal security.”
As soon as Rice picked up the two books Marbut assigned for a class in May, she started wondering what she was getting herself into.
“I sent him (Marbut) this frantic email. ‘I haven’t even touched a gun before. I’m so scared. Are you sure I can do this?’ ” she said.
And she remembered his response: “Of course you can do this.”
In fact, Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said women who have no experience with firearms are his favorite students because they’re aces at listening and learning. And learn Rice did.
In the classroom portion of the day, Marbut talked about the power of guns, the reasons for them, the correct ways to treat firearms, and how to take responsibility for owning weapons, Rice said. By the time she headed for the shooting range to fire an actual gun, she felt 100 percent at ease with a concept that once had troubled her.
“He has you so comfortable with the thought of what you’re going to be doing and what you’re holding in your hands, it was easy to pull the trigger the first time,” Rice said.
When her pacifist mom learned she was taking the course, her mom texted her a joke about guns. But Rice believes her dad and brother, a U.S. Marine, are proud she’s become knowledgeable about guns.
Rice doesn’t plan to buy her own firearm anytime in the near future, and neither does Rachael Sparks, who also took the class this spring. Sparks, too, was afraid of guns before she enrolled, and she also described feeling “empowered” after taking the class.
Even if she doesn’t ever own a firearm, she now knows how to tell someone to do so safely if she perceives they aren’t; she knows how to get out of harm’s way if she ever needs to remove herself from a dangerous situation that involves a gun; and she knows how to use the firearm safely herself if necessary.
Sparks also knows how to use a gun well, and to her own surprise. The first time she took a shot, she figured it flew off the mark.
“Being the first time I had shot a gun, I was convinced that I had missed the target completely, that it was way up in the hills,” Sparks said.
But that bullet and the rest of her first round went straight through the prime target in her silhouette, which she saved as a souvenir. Friends back home in Massachusetts can’t believe she took a shooting class, but Sparks is glad she did and credits Marbut with making newcomers feel welcome, capable and empowered.
“It’s something I’m very proud that I did,” Sparks said.
Even Montanans who are seasoned with firearms sign up for Marbut’s course. Bruno Friia, who took the class about a year ago, is in no way a newcomer to guns, but he wanted to learn more about them.
“I’ve always been a sportsman. I’ve always had firearms around the house, and I just thought it would be nice to take a formal class, learn all the protocols, and learn all the idiosyncrasies that you don’t learn when you’re learning from your dad or your uncle,” Friia said.
Friia, for instance, has kept a gun in a gun safe at his home. Now, he knows how to have a personal weapon available that’s at home, outside the locked safe, but in a way that’s safe for anyone in the household.
His daughters are familiar with hunting and fishing, and they’re active in their own self-defense, but Friia found the class so beneficial, he wants the 26-year-old twins to take it as well. He said they’ll probably do so this fall.
“He’s a great instructor,” Friia said of Marbut. “He communicates really well, and there’s nothing left to not understand.”
TWG Note: Wondering about the upcoming Montana GOP Primary? Me too. This, from one of the TOP Gun Rights and Freedom Advocates in this Nation, Mr. Gary Marbut. Mr. Marbut is the President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. We can Thank Mr. Marbut for a plethora of very successful bills, including the Firearms Freedom Act. Mr. Marbut has been a vigilant and diligent proponent for our Second and Tenth Amendments, not just here in Montana, but across this Nation. You can learn more about Mr. Marbut’s efforts and about the Montana Shooting Sports Association by visiting the following sites:
Here is Mr. Marbut’s assessment of the upcoming Montana. You can find the original text at: http://progunleaders.org/MTGOPPrimary.html
The View from MSSA
Usually, after pouring over candidate voting records from previous public service, and examining returned candidate questionnaires, MSSA would like to make an endorsement in a race as important as the one for Governor of Montana.
There are seven Republican candidates facing off in the upcoming Primary Election on June 5th. Historically, to endorse any one candidate, MSSA wants to see one letter grade gap between the endorsed candidate and others, an “A” versus a “C”, or a “B” versus a “D.” (We don’t endorse candidates for the Primary who don’t earn at least a “B” grade.)
In the Republican Primary race for Governor, we simply cannot identify any candidate that is head-and-shoulders better than the rest – with a letter grade gap above the others. So, MSSA will make no endorsement in the Republican Primary for Governor.
If I ended this message right here, I can imagine that most GOP Governor candidates would be satisfied, although maybe some disappointed.
However, I can also imagine many MSSA members saying or thinking, “Come on Gary. You know these candidates. You’ve worked with them, tracked their votes in the Legislature, talked with them, watched their performance, and surveyed them. We need whatever information you can pass along in order to make an intelligent choice in the Primary.” Right.
So, I feel MSSA owes its members at least some information about the various candidates. In lieu of an MSSA endorsement, let me tell you what I know and what I think (I’ll mix the two) about the various candidates.
I tend to want to place political figures on a spectrum from liberal to conservative. Because those are fuzzy terms as commonly used, let me tell you how I define them. I think of a modern (not classic) liberal as a person who tolerates or favors shifting power, choice and money from people to government. I think of a conservative as a person who would prefer to shift power, choice and money from government to people. Those are generally the definitions I will apply here. I will also discuss what is known about each candidate’s position on the right to keep and bear arms, MSSA’s prime focus.
As far as I know, there are no out-and-out liberals in this Republican Primary race, but some appear to be more or less conservative than others. Here’s what I know or believe, working from the most conservative to the least conservative. (BTW, these candidates will ALL probably end up disliking all or parts of my assessment – comes with the turf if I’m to give MSSA members an honest review. I know most of these candidates personally, and count them as friends. I hope they’re still friends after they read my comments.)
Bob Fanning & Joel Boniek
The most conservative of the candidates is Bob Fanning. Fanning has a good grasp of constitutional principles. He’s a firm advocate for states’ rights. He has far more time and energy invested in wolf control than any other candidate, maybe than all candidates combined. Fanning has been a CEO and a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He understands economics. Fanning returned a great MSSA candidate questionnaire. Bob likes to describe himself as a “Montanan by choice; not by accident.” He moved here over a decade ago to deliberately become a Montanan. Fanning has not previously held any public office in Montana. Bob buys big game tags every year and is an elk hunter. He is not as acquainted with the details and processes of state government as some other candidates. Fanning hasn’t raised a lot of money, and he got off to a late start with is campaign. His running mate is former Rep. Joel Boniek, a philosophically-pure guy who carried the Montana Firearms Freedom Act for MSSA when it passed in 2009. I’d say Fanning’s chances of getting into the Governor’s office are a long shot. He’d have a steep learning curve if he got there, but would be something of a breath of fresh air for Montana in the Governor’s chair.
Ken Miller & Bill Gallagher
Former State Senator Ken Miller is very nearly as conservative as Fanning. Miller also has a strong bent towards states’ rights and individual liberty. Miller has FAR more effort invested in the Governor race than any other candidate. He’s been actively campaigning for over a year and has crisscrossed Montana multiple times meeting locally with any groups of people who wanted to meet him. Ken was Chairman of the state GOP for a cycle, and managed to shake up and out that good-old-boy GOP structure some to make the GOP a more effective organization. As GOP Chairman, he was willing to make more hard decisions than some others who have held the post. When in the Montana Senate, Miller always supported MSSA’s pro-gun bills. Miller returned a very good MSSA candidate questionnaire, although with reservation about MSSA’s proposal to stimulate smokeless powder and primer manufacture in Montana. Ken and his wife Peggy are both big game hunters. Ken grew up in Montana, and has been a successful small business owner in Montana. In statewide polling, Miller continues to run a close second place in terms of support among likely Republican voters. Miller’s running mate is Bill Gallagher, a Helena attorney currently elected to the Montana Public Service Commission. Because both Miller and Gallagher have served in elected public office at the state level, they have a good grasp of how state government works and perhaps, because of that, an enhanced ability to translate Miller’s philosophy into deeds.
I see a bit of a gap on the liberal-to-conservative spectrum between these candidates and the next two.
Neil Livingstone & Ryan Zinke
Neil Livingstone is an interesting guy, albeit a bit mysterious. Although born in Montana, Neil has spent much of his life immersed in the murky world of international business, intelligence and clandestine operations, both in Washington, D.C., and overseas. Livingstone speaks forcefully about his commitment to constitutional principles, and he definitely wishes to roll back what he sees as extreme environmentalists’ suppression of the natural resource industry in Montana. Livingstone returned a fine candidate questionnaire, although he had some un-detailed concerns about MSSA’s “Sheriffs First” proposal. Livingstone has not held elected office in Montana. While expressing strong support for the right to keep and bear arms, Livingstone did select a running mate, State Senator Ryan Zinke, who formerly expressed a very definite opinion that “civilians” should not be allowed to own .50-caliber rifles. Livingstone quickly explains that he and former SEAL commander Zinke have come to terms about .50-caliber rifles, and Zinke now whole-heartedly supports civilian ownership of such firearms, as does Livingstone. Livingstone has a forceful personality. There are concerns expressed by some, however, that he has not spent enough time in Montana in recent years to have a good sense of Montana issues and Montana culture. Livingstone has not hunted in Montana, but says he has hunted in Eurasia and Africa. Livingstone is supported by a number of former high-ranking military and government officials of excellent national repute, many of whom are not Montana residents. Were Livingstone elected Montana Governor, one gets the impression he would kick ass, and that the timid and naysayers would do well to keep out of his way. With his long employment, connections and experience with the federal government, one would hope that his total allegiance would be to Montana, rather than to the federal government or influences from D.C. or elsewhere.
Corey Stapleton & Bob Keenan
Both Stapleton and Keenan are former state senators, both with good conservative credentials, and both of them are known as proven supporters of the right to keep and bear arms – excellent guys. Stapleton is a graduate of Annapolis, a strong recommendation by anyone’s standard. Stapleton did not return MSSA’s candidate questionnaire, but, based on his past votes in the Montana Senate, I believe he would support most of the issues MSSA plans to have before the 2013 Legislature. Because both Stapleton and Keenan have long experience in the Legislature, they also know how state government works and how to translate their philosophy into deeds at the state level. They would also be realistic, even pragmatic, about what a Governor can accomplish. Stapleton’s campaign has not been highly visible. There is a concern that because Stapleton has been (and presumably still is) an officer in the U.S. military, the federal government might be able to “pull rank” and command his loyalty in any disagreement between Montana and the federal government.
Continuing to work from the conservative end of the political spectrum gets us to:
Rick Hill & Jon Sonju
Rick Hill was formerly elected to represent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his running mate, Jon Sonju, has been in the Montana Senate. Both are experienced hands in the process of politics. Hill is currently thought my many to be the front-runner in this seven-way Republican Primary. He is reported to lead in fundraising, and is known to be supported by many “old guard” Republican figures. Although Hill did not return MSSA’s candidate questionnaire, he did speak to the MSSA Annual Meeting in Helena in March (as did Fanning, Miller and Livingstone), where he expressed strong support for the right to keep and bear arms. It is unknown how this strong expression will translate to the details of MSSA’s legislative agenda in 2013. I expect he would support most of those issues, but with no returned candidate questionnaire and no voting record from the Montana Legislature, that’s just my educated guess. Hill is reputed to occasionally hunt upland game birds. Sonju has been a solid supporter of gun issues in the Legislature, and his family manufactures firearms in the Kalispell area. It is argued by some that the nature of Hill’s work and experience in D.C. and Montana may make him more vulnerable to attacks by the Democrats in the General Election, making it difficult for him to win the General Election, although Democrats will certainly attack whomever becomes the Republican candidate for the General Election. Hill recently released a statement asserting need to better manage wolves to prevent negative impact on game herds. While quite welcome, this recent interest by Hill is seen by some as being a bit late and lacking the strong intent needed to resurrect Montana’s predator-decimated game herds.
Jim Lynch & Al Olszewski
Current Governor Brian Schweitzer (a Democrat) appointed Jim Lynch to be Director of the Montana Department of Transportation. In that office, Lynch says that he has made maintenance of the Montana highway system much more effective and efficient. He wishes to bring the same management techniques to the Governor’s Office. Lynch has been an insider in state government long enough to know how things work, although he hasn’t been involved in the political machinations used to turn eggs into an omelet. Lynch did return a very good MSSA candidate questionnaire, a plus for him, although MSSA puts more credence in a voting record history than in a candidate questionnaire. I know nothing about Lynch’s running mate, Al Olszewski. It is said that Lynch has made numerous political donations on record to Democrat candidates, although that may just be an unspoken job requirement to work for Governor Schweitzer. It is my fuzzy opinion that Lynch is probably a pretty good manager, but I have not heard others who know him speak of his conservative philosophy or credentials.
Jim O’Hara & Scott Swingley
Jim O’Hara is elected as a County Commissioner of Choteau County. He did not return MSSA’s candidate questionnaire. I haven’t met O’Hara and really don’t know anything about Jim or his running mate, Scott Swingley.
I’ve tried seven times to write a conclusion, but I’m just not getting there. I guess you’ll have to draw your own conclusion. I hope this has been helpful.
Gary Marbut and The Montana Shooting Sports Association Letter To Fish and Wildlife “Protection” Agency….. BE HONEST AND DO YOUR JOB, OR NO MORE FUNDS!
[TWG Note: Below is a letter, written by Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association to the Fish and Wildlife “Protection” agency. I think you’ll find it most interesting, particularly if you live in Montana, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Please see my personal note below the letter, and please help me in sending Mr. Marbut a heartfelt THANKS for his efforts on behalf of our gun rights, wildlife, hunters and for all Americans who feel that Federal agencies have overstepped their boundaries.]
See the story in the Bozeman Chronicle at:
This is the first overt symptom of the agency “death spiral” for FWP.
For two decades, FWP has come to focus on wildlife and biology, when it should have been focused on fish and game. A significant part of this picture has been FWP’s shocking tolerance and support for large predators. FWP’s total, willing, even eager cooperation with large predator enhancement has long been predicted to result in an economic crash for the agency, when the word unavoidably spreads that there is no game left to hunt so there is no reason to buy a license.
FWP leaders have for too long leaned on the scales of policy by making excuses for the devastation wrought to game herds by large predators, fudging game counts and census numbers, and blaming any population declines that could not be covered up on climate change, sunspots, or aliens – anything but the truth. This coverup culture has been fostered by senior staff, always near retirement, who knew they’d be gone and not in the hot seat when the crisis actually arrived.
If the overall FWP attitude had not been so Hell-bent on “ecosystem management,” “biological diversity,” “natural balance” and other similar catchy but terminal “green” ideas destined to end hunting, FWP managers could have projected the current crisis years ago. I guess nobody at FWP noticed or cared several years ago when the editor of the NRA’s American Hunter magazine wrote a feature article about his fruitless elk hunting trip to southwest Montana, a trip where the only tracks he saw were wolf tracks. Nobody at FWP noticed or cared about the other thousands of warnings from Montana citizens. Worse, those warnings were ignored in a mad pursuit of a “green” agenda for FWP.
The stock mantra from FWP managers has been: We’re the professionals. We know best. The outcome concerned citizens project will never come to pass. The “evidence” of crashing game herds citizens cite is just “campfire stories” and is without merit because it doesn’t come from professional FWP biologists.
Yet when retired FWP employees, freed from the institutional FWP muzzle, asserted that FWP-tolerated wolves were turning the Montana landscape into a “biological desert,” FWP dismissed such comments summarily.
For the last two decades, FWP has been busy digging a hole for itself. As it sees daylight disappearing around the edges of the hole, it still won’t quit digging.
Of course, the obvious solution for the bureaucratic-bound and reality-disconnected FWP will be to announce, “We’ve been managing wildlife for the general public (including the non-Montana public) for years. Now we need the general public to pay the bills.” FWP has so fouled its nest by inadvisably removing hunters from the economic equation that it will eventually have to go to the Legislature asking for relief, including increased fees that hunters simply won’t pay to access a vanishing resource, and, ultimately, general taxpayer money.
You can bet that when FWP approaches the Legislature demanding an allowance increase as a reward for having flunked Econ 101, MSSA and thousands of Montana hunters will be there to say “Absolutely no way.” FWP has not only ignored the many warnings from Montana hunters, it has mocked and disrespected them.
What FWP needs is not more or alternate sources of money, but a total change in attitude and culture. Until that happens, let FWP starve! It is not serving Montanans.
[TWG Note: Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, has been diligently and tirelessly advocating for hunters, wildlife and for our Second and Tenth Amendment Rights not only here in Montana, but all over the country. We can Thank Him for the Firearms Freedom Act, among many, many successful legislative efforts and accomplishments on our behalf. Mr. Marbut is an amazing individual, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking him for his efforts and success.
I’ve personally witnessed Mr Marbut’s relentless work here at the Montana Legislature and in numerous opinion articles he’s written in his efforts to expose the truth about gun rights, wildlife and Tenth Amendment issues. He’s a SUPERSTAR in my book, and if you can help support his efforts, I’m certain a donation in any amount would be very much appreciated by him. If you’d like to become a member of The Montana Shooting Sports Association, you can show your support by purchasing a membership for a mere $25 You do not need to be a resident of Montana to join the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Donations and membership fees are used to help Gary’s efforts in advocating for our rights not just here in Montana, but all across America.
As I was reviewing some history on the Montana Sheriff’s First (SB 114) legislation, passed in both house and senate and vetoed by Governor Schweitzer, I stumbled across this very interesting and informative article written by our Friend Elias Alias in January 2011.
It appears we have a LOT of courtesy flushing to do here in the Great State of Montana. I think you’ll find this article very interesting and very well written. I suggest you investigate these issues in your State so that We, The People know exactly who we’ve got leading our States (our Liberty, our Freedom and our gun rights) straight down the crapper.
Why are Montana Sheriffs Associating with Communists and Gun Grabbers?
by Elias Alias, Montana Oath Keepers, USMC Vietnam veteran
Scenario SB 114
If the mayor is under attack For gaming behind your back, Look-out Jack, better step back – Duck the flak, but stay on track.
Scenario: Deception distorts perception in the debate on SB-114, the Sheriffs First bill:
The people of Montana are grateful to Senator Shockley for reminding the people that Montana’s legislators are primarily Montanans and only secondarily serve as occasional legislators. They do not have to specialize in American history or in Constitutional studies.
We are now told that because the North won the Civil War, the conclusion we all should draw from that is that Federal law trumps State law, “like it or not.” Somehow Lincoln managed to rewrite the Tenth Amendment by winning a war – or did he? Let us make a scenario.
In our scenario, an amateur student of history who has given countless hours over many years to study the Constitution and the contexts of the era in which it was written, shows up at a committee hearing for a particular bill to speak for a bill, and finds to his dismay that the citizen legislators, some of whom have not bothered to learn the important lessons of history, are enmeshed in a tightly-orchestrated schedule and cannot grant one enough time to pack even the most condensed quintessence of ten years’ worth of study into a two-minute presentation before the committee.
Perhaps that is simply a blow delivered by bureaucracy’s inherent constructs, the infrastructure of organized governance. All can see that it is impersonal, that it is just how busy sessions work.
But our scenario grows darker when we recall the recent hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, January 21, 2011. The bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee was Senate Bill-114, commonly referred to as the “Sheriffs First” bill. The public was invited to appear before the Committee and speak for or against the Sheriffs First bill. A number of Montanans drove to Helena to stand before the microphone and plead for passage of this important bill.
However, the citizens who spoke for the bill were opposed by a battery of public employees who showed up to speak against the bill. Interesting, that. As reported, all who spoke against the bill were public servants, while the people from the private sector were in favor of the bill. There was that clear delineation – public servant vs the public. In this scenario, the public servants are convinced that they know what is best for the public, and shall wield the public power of office to ensure that the public gets only the laws which public servants deem appropriate. That begs the question, “Who is serving who?”
The citizens who support the bill, including attorneys, represent the sector of Montana society which encourages study into Constitutional issues, constitutional philosophy, study into contexts, study into history, and Supreme Court precedent. These citizens represent the aware and conscientious patriots within Montana who do as the founders insist all citizens should do – which is to be ever vigilant in watching over the manner in which government administers itself upon the governed.
Opposing the citizens were “associations” or lobbies for ‘special interests’. Of the several opponents of the bill present at the hearing, one in particular is handy for this extended scenario. We shall try to be elegant as we review some things, but we must now name a lobby which opposed the Sheriffs Bill. Of all things, it was the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (MSPOA). The spokesperson for MSPOA was Helena Mayor Jim Smith, a man with considerable connections at the core of governance.
He is the mayor of the State Capitol, after all. So let’s take a look at him from the city’s website:
There we read: – quoting from city’s page on Mayor Jim Smith –
“ In 1978 he began working on public policy issues, with the Montana Seniors Citizens Association and the Rocky Mountain Development Council. In 1983 Jim began working as a Lobbyist at the Montana Legislature. He has lobbied every Session since, working for a variety of human service, health care, law enforcement and local government associations and organizations. In 1994 Jim became a co-owner of Smith and McGowan, Inc., a lobbying, management and government relations firm located in downtown Helena. The firm’s clients include: the Montana Council of Community Mental Health Centers, the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, the Montana County Attorneys Association, the American Cancer Society, and others.”
– end quote –
So that is part of our scenario – the gentleman is a well-connected lobbyist. A professional lobbyist. He advocates professionally for organizations, both public and private. He’s got position, and personality.
Speaking of personality traits, there is this tidbit, published on December 17, 2009 by the Missoula Independent.
– quoting –
[Bob] McKelvey and [“Mike” Meyer] Chessin founded Montanans United to Stop Gun Violence (MU-SGV) years ago to combat what they saw as a serious problem in the state. Late this summer, they finally reached out and approached state Reps. Dick Barrett and Ron Erickson, both of Missoula, about helping the group. In November, Helena Mayor Jim Smith joined MU-SGV’s steering committee.
“I think it’s a voice that needs to be heard in the debate here in Montana over gun rights,” says Smith, who has lobbied against concealed weapons carry for 15 years. “I don’t think there’s another grassroots organization or a group of ordinary citizens who are committed to the end of gun violence and the maintenance of a civil society.”
The group faces a number of tasks for 2010, most immediate of which is agreeing what issue to use as a rallying point. McKelvey says he has growing concerns over the rising number of open carriers in the Bitterroot—an issue highlighted by recent Celebrating Conservatism meetings that feature numerous attendees with firearms. But Barrett says putting open carry practices in the group’s crosshairs could galvanize Second Amendment proponents.
– end quoted passages from the Missoula Independent –
Our scenario continues to develop. We have a ‘lobbying personality’ which is running a city in Montana and providing its talents to the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the Montana County Attorneys Association, and lo and behold, this lobbying personality, presently dwelling like a clouded dream in the head of the Mayor of Helena, has taken a seat on the steering committee for a gun control group run in part by a fellow traveler named “Mike” Meyer Chessin.
Montanans who enjoy traditional gun culture in Montana are seen by Mr. Chessin to be “a serious problem”. He apparently has concerns about the Celebrating Conservatism movement in the Bitterroot, who lawfully carry their guns openly, but I’m sure he doesn’t think the Maiden of Montana Liberty, Ms Mona Docteur, would pop a cap on him. Surely he is not paranoid about his vision of a gun-free Montana, a somewhat delusional vision which he entitles “…the maintenance of a civil society”.
But what can we ask about Mr. Chessin, Mayor Smith’s partner at the Montanans United To Stop Gun Violence organization?
May we ask if he once was a professor at the University of California at Berkeley?
May we ask if, owing to alleged communist affiliations, Mr. Chessin fled UCB during the McCarthy era at a time when communists were being expunged from public offices?
May we also ask whether at that same time the University of Montana was having accreditation problems for not having sufficient numbers of ‘accredited’ professors?
And may we further ask whether the University of Montana picked up a handful of trans-locating communist professors, (some of whom were fleeing their offices under light of public scrutiny), at a discount price, including Botany professor Chessin?
Finally, may we ask whether students who attended U of M during that time readily admit that Chessin kept posters of Stalin and Lenin on his office walls at the U of M?
We are just asking questions of course, but we can be sure that Chessin does not approve of Montana’s gun culture, its traditions, and its importance in today’s world.
Question – aren’t communists always against allowing a population to keep and bear arms? And isn’t the keeping and bearing of arms one of our denoted “inalienable rights”, which public officials are sworn to protect on our behalf?
Another question. Why would the University of Montana take down the Internet page which could have revealed the reasons we have so many questions today regarding Chessin?
The information on faculty-member Chessin, now removed from the www, used to be at this link – it’s a dead link now:
The fearless professional lobbyist who is also the Mayor of Helena, Montana, sits on the steering committee for an anti-gun group with an alleged – but unproven – communist sympathizer at the same time he is providing his services to the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the Montana County Attorneys Association.
On their behalf, in their names, he has stood before the Montana Senate’s Judiciary Committee to oppose a bill which would affirm the (Montana) constitutional Sheriff’s authority as the highest law enforcement officer in his County. This he did while the unanimous voices of the citizens were entered into the record requesting that the Committee move the bill forward.
The citizens’ voices were confronted by Mr. Smith’s retort that:
“The sheriffs of Montana really do not want to be pawns in anyone else’s political games.”
Is it not the quintessence of gall for a man to seek to install against the wishes of the people
“…the maintenance of a civil society”,
which is a politicization in itself, by accusing freedom-loving Montanans of playing political games?
Shouldn’t Smith admit that the ‘Montanans United to Stop Gun Violence’ organization is indeed “politicizing” an issue of our County Sheriffs’ authority?
Isn’t MU-SGV a self-declared political organization with a self-declared mission to infringe upon Montanans’ rights to keep and bear arms – perhaps with the instigation of avowed communists?
Gary Marbut, of Montana Shooting Sports Association wrote this Sheriffs First bill. Gary is the same author who gave us the successful Montana Firearms Freedom Act of 2009. Gary Marbut represents the voice of the Montana citizenry. Gary Marbut is not a lobbyist for any government office or agency. Gary Marbut defends the Montana Constitution on behalf of a free people.
Yet the professional lobbyist for MSPOA and MCAA is representing an anti-gun-rights agenda at the same time he purports to lobby for our Sheriffs and Peace Officers.
Who is politicizing what here?
Are the Sheriffs Smith purports to represent actually as anti-gun as Smith, or is Smith using the Sheriffs as pawns in the Smith/Chessin anti-gun game?
Some may say that kind of question begs “standing”. Very well. Here is some standing –
We are asking questions about the propriety of lobbying, its place in our lives, where it fits into our world. What does a lobbyist do?
Lobbyists are “statists” who represent “interests” in efforts to shape, mold, and structure state authority in ways which benefit the “interests” who pay for such services.
What is a “statist”?
A statist is one who values and believes in the power of the state (as in, the government, on whatever level). Statists use the force of the state to animate their policy, which is derived from their personal perception of various systems available to them.
Communists, for example, are statists, as also are ‘collectivists’ and ‘Marxist socialists’ or ‘progressives’ harking back to Colonel Edward M. House and Woodrow Wilson.Neo-cons are also statists.
Communism, like Marxism or socialism or any other governmental “ism”, is based on the individual’s willingness to believe in the power of the state, and the use of that power to control or regulate others. That is a psychological element of a perception which elicits a personal response in harmony with one’s view of life on earth – one’s “perception”.
A lobbyist who is a collectivist, or one who is a statist, can be employed to shape public perception in ways which benefit one’s client’s interests. A lobbyist who chooses to represent a government arm, such as, say, the office of County Sheriff, but brings a statist perception to the table, may, if one is not exceedingly careful, awaken the very Sheriffs and Peace Officers upon whose good name said lobbyist rides.
Question – Do the Sheriffs and Peace Officers who are represented by this particular statist lobbyist know that he also works with an anti-gun organization?
Did Mr. Smith call the Sheriffs of Montana’s Counties to see how they felt about SB-114, the Sheriffs First bill?
Was the lobbying of the Mayor fortified by the spread of “official” views for each Sheriff to hold regarding this bill, before Mr. Smith purported to represent their personal views to the Senate Judiciary Committee?
We do know that at least two courageous Sheriffs have taken stands for the bill, much to their respective Counties’ glory. We wonder what the other Sheriffs may think. There is, after all, an Oath to the Constitution, and that Oath is, as President John Adams said long ago, “a sacred obligation”, which is why the Oath was written into the Constitution – to bind a public servant down to honorable service to the people who created the government, to ‘we the people’.
How many Sheriffs in Montana will stand on their Oath?
How many Montana Sheriffs recognize the need for a powerful buffer between Federal intrusion and the inalienable rights of the people?
How many Montana Sheriffs truly want a communist sympathizing anti-gun professional lobbyist representing them before the people’s legislature?
But there is more. Let us add some color to our scenario. This is a pdf.
We have to ask. Is Mayor Smith’s fair City of Helena involved in any way with the United Nations’ Agenda-21 and ICLEI? What do those terms mean? Here is an excerpt from that pdf:
The specific plan is called United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. By now, most Americans have heard of sustainable development but are largely unaware of Agenda 21.
ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the ‘International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’. The Council was established when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at the ICLEI inaugural conference, the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New York. In a nutshell, the plan (Agenda 21) calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.
It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.
This is now being implemented in several Montana cities, and Helena is one. We must wonder, who lobbied to get ICLEI operating in Helena?
Do the people of Helena know with cognizance that a United Nations radical and extreme land-control program has been installed in their city?
Could city planning be affected by anti-gun-rights affiliations?
Isn’t that a part of what Smith’s partner sees as “…the maintenance of a civil society”?
To really understand what the United Nations’ Agenda 21 Sustainable Development and ICLEI are all about, read often at the best online source for the full picture – Michael Shaw’s remarkable site, Freedom Advocates: http://www.freedomadvocates.org/
So let us see. We have a lobbying Mayor representing the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and the Montana County Attorney Association in opposition to the Sheriffs First bill, and he works at the same time with an anti-gun organization which is pondering getting rid of our right to openly carry our guns, and all the while he’s not embarrassed to make deals or cooperate with the United Nations, which seeks a higher authority over our U.S. Constitution.
And this guy claims to be representing our communities’ law enforcement? And our County Attorneys?
That’s quite a scenario.
Does Helena’s Mayor have some help from within those organizations?
Yes. He does. Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert took time from his busy schedule to speak against the bill at the Committee hearing, and spat a bit of his own vitriolic resentment that, in his misguided view of SB 114, the people’s elected Sheriff should have the power to interfere with his federal associations. Dr. Ed Berry has already quoted him, but just for the record, Mr. Lambert sees the bill as an infringement on his job.
Could that infringement in any way affect his friendly relationship with the federal agencies operating in his County?
Aren’t the in-state activities of Federal agencies/agents part of the object of this bill?
How would the Sheriff’s lawful duty to require all federal agents to obtain the Sheriff’s written permission prior to search, seizure, or arrest of any County citizen somehow threaten the Attorney’s job unless the Attorney has discrete liaison with federal offices?
Where in this Sheriffs First bill is any Sheriff instructed to manage the office of the County Attorney?
But wait – doesn’t that bring us back to the opening of this lengthy screed?
We began by talking about citizen legislators and we noted that Senator Shockley gave us pause with his statement regarding his conclusion about the Civil War. Senator Shockley mused that since the North won the war, that settled the question of Federal vs State sovereignty. States are under the authority of the Federal government, as he would say it. His gracenote was “Like it or not”.
But we may ask next, what about the Montana Firearms Freedom Act of 2009?
It was passed into law, signed into law, and immediately the Federal ATF declared that Federal law trumps Montana law, sending letters to that effect to each FFL in the State.
Did not the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association oppose that bill also, as they are opposing the Sheriffs First bill this session? (Or was it just their lobbyist?)
But the real question to ask is whether the Federal denial of our lawfully-enacted Firearms Freedom Act of 2009 would be weakened by the passage of the Sheriffs First bill?
What about Montana’s medical marijuana law, which the Federal government also refuses to recognize?
How would the Sheriffs First bill affect the Feds’ insane push to over-ride Montana’s law?
Do the people of Montana have any sovereignty if their voted and legislated will is subject to Federal incursion?
And isn’t it Federal incursion when the Federal government threatens Montana with Federal powers to over-ride the written will and law of the Montana people?
And is not the Sheriffs First bill a threat to that kind of Federal mischief?
Dr. Ed Berry has alluded already to the Mack/Printz Supreme Court decision of 1997. The full story on that is available at Sheriff Mack’s website –
Enough can’t be said about that landmark decision. Icing on the cake with that decision is the fact that then-County Sheriff of Ravalli County, Montana, the distinguished patriot Sheriff Jay Printz, was Sheriff Mack’s partner in the suit against Clinton’s Brady bill. Two Sheriffs, one from Arizona and one from Montana, sued the Federal government and won, and part of the majority opinion, written by Justice Scalia, goes like this:
“It is incontestable that the Constitution established a system of ‘dual sovereignty’… Although the States surrendered many of their powers to the new Federal Government, they retained ‘a residuary and inviolable sovereignty,’…
“Residual State sovereignty was also implicit, of course, in the Constitution’s conferral upon Congress of not all governmental powers, but only discrete, enumerated ones, which implication was rendered express by the Tenth Amendment’s assertion that ‘the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people….
“The great innovation of this design was that our citizens would have two political capacities, one state and one federal, each protected from incursion by the other… The Constitution thus contemplates that a State’s government will represent and remain accountable to its own citizens.” – Justice Scalia
Senator Shockley, it can’t get any more clear than that. The Federal government did not create the States, and it does not give us any “rights” – the Civil War did nothing to damage the Tenth Amendment. The Federal government was created by the States to protect individual rights which are clearly stated to be unalienable rights. That means, no government can place a lien on our God-given/Natural rights.
Senate Judiciary Committee, think on these things please. Listen to your people.
The people of Montana want the Sheriffs First bill passed into law. Support the people and the State of Montana as we resist Federal incursion and Federal intrusion. Acknowledge the citizens’ rightful seat of legitimacy and authority in this Republic of law. The document begins with, is of, by, and for, “we the people”.
Choose the people over the special interests, over the socialists, over the communists, over the professional lobbyists. Choose the law as written, not a lobbyist’s interpretation of law. The perception of the opponents of this bill has been furnished to them by Federal programming and a dependency on Federal funding. It is only natural that they, joined at the waist with Federal programs, would oppose this move by the people to reclaim Montana sovereignty.
Good Senators, please hold dear Montana’s historic culture of freedom, and celebrate Montana’s compliance with the Constitution for the united States of America. Please pass SB-114.
Thank you for reading.
Elias Alias, Montana Oath Keepers, USMC Vietnam veteran
Notes, brief bibliography –
Freedom Advocates – http://www.freedomadvocates.org/ Michael Shaw
ICLEI – http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=about
Mack/Printz v United States – http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/95-1478.ZO.html
Montana Shooting Sports Association – http://www.mtssa.org/ Gary Marbut
Oath Keepers – http://www.oathkeepers.org/ Stewart Rhodes
Liberty Fellowship – http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/ Dr. Chuck Baldwin
Matrixx Productions – Creator of these films is James Jaeger:
Cultural Marxism – http://www.realityzone.com/culturemarx.html
Original Intent – http://www.originalintent.us/single.htm
Corporate Fascism – http://www.corporatefascism.org/
The Purse And The Sword – by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., holder of four degrees from Harvard. This is the definitive advanced Constitutional course, over eight viewing hours’ worth, on sound money and the lawful Militia of the several States:
Constitutional “Homeland Security”: Volume 1: The Nation In Arms
by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr.; copyright 2007 by Edwin Vieira, Jr.; Bookmasters, Inc., 30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, Ohio 44805; International Standard Book Number (10): 0-9671759-2-5; International Standard Book Number (13): 978-0-9671759-2-8.
To order Dr. Vieira’s Constitutional Homeland Security, order your copy directly from Dr. Vieira: $19.95 postpaid, by check or money order to:
Edwin Vieira * 52 Stonegate Court * Front Royal, Virginia 22630
How To Dethrone The Imperial Judiciary
by Dr. Edwin Vieira; copyright 2004-2005 Vision Forum Ministries; Content copyright 2004-2005 The Conservative Caucus Research, Analysis, And Education Foundation and Dr. Edwin Vieira; Vision Forum Ministries, 4719 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78212, www.visionforum.org; ISBN – 10 0-9755264-1-3; ISBN – 13 078-0-9755264-1-5.
The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It
by Nelson Hultberg; copyright 2009 by Nelson Hultberg; published by Americans for a Free Republic, P.O. Box 801213, Dallas, Texas 75380-1213; ISBN: 1-891191-45-4. http://www.afr.org/ Mr. Hultberg also works with The Daily Bell: http://www.thedailybell.com/
Unalienable Rights And The Denial Of The U.S. Constitution
by Michael E. LeMieux; copyright 2007 by Michael E. LeMieux; published by PUBLISHAMERICA,LLLP; www.publishamerica.com; Baltimore; ISBN: 1-60441-785-4;
Michael LeMieux is the Nebraska chapter President for Oath Keepers.
The Constitution In Exile: How the Federal Government has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law Of The Land.
by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano; copyright 2006 by Andrew P. Napolitano; published by Nelson Current, a division of a wholly owned subsidiary (Nelson Communications, Inc.) of Thomas Nelson, Inc., in Nashville, Tennessee; email: SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.
Lies The Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History
by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano; foreword by Ron Paul; copyright 2010 by Andrew P. Napolitano; published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson, a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.; ISBN: 978-1-59555-266-2.
The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope
by Sheriff Richard Mack; copyright by Richard Mack 2009; www.sheriffmack.com; published by Sheriff Mack, P.O. Box 971, Pima, Arizona 85543.
Nullification: How To Resist Federal Tyranny In The 21st Century
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.; copyright 2010 by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.; published by Regenery Publishing, Inc., One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001, www.regnery.com; ISBN: 978-1-59698-149-2.
Guns are Gary Marbut’s life. A self-employed, self-sufficient jack-of-all-trades who lives outside of Missoula, Mont., Marbut says that if he didn’t cast his own bullets, he couldn’t afford to shoot as much as he does: 10,000 to 15,000 rounds per year.
He shoots in both rifle and handgun competitions, teaches concealed weapons classes (he’s had about 3,500 students), manufactures target equipment, and hunts elk with a .44 Magnum revolver, because it’s more challenging: He has to “sneak-creep” to within 50 yards of an elk to take a shot. In 1989, Marbut also founded what is arguably the most assertive state-level gun-rights group, the Montana Sports Shooting Association. He says his gun-rights advocacy is partly about “individual and personal freedom, and he has been the main leader pushing “55 pro-gun, pro-hunting bills” through the Montana Legislature.
During every session of the Montana Legislature, as president of MSSA, Marbut spearheads the group’s lobbying effort for pro-gun rights legislation. He has entrenched himself in this kind of gun battle for more than 20 years, and earned national recognition in 2009 by successfully pushing for passage of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act…… (Con’t Below)
[TWG NOTE: Gary Marbut, with the Montana Shooting Sports Association, is absolutely relentless in his efforts to protect our Second Amendment Rights, not only here in Montana but nationwide. He’s been instrumental in implementation of the Firearms Freedom Act and works diligently with lawmakers on our behalf. PLEASE consider supporting his efforts by joining his organization ( http://www.mtssa.org ) and any financial support you can provide to him and his organization. Gary Marbut is a VERY STRONG Advocate for Second Amendment Rights everywhere, and he deserves our full support.]
[Friends, this is something we should ALL get behind and support in any way possible. This case has monumental implications, particularly considering the Federal Government has overreached it’s boundaries with regard to the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of The United States Of America, and given the current Administration’s stance on Gun Control and our Second Amendment Rights. Please help support this effort financially or by volunteering your time and resources to the Montana Shooting Sports Association and Mr. Gary Marbut.]
Plaintiffs Appeal Firearms Freedom Act Ruling to the Ninth Circuit
Enroute to the U.S. Supreme Court
MISSOULA, MONT. – Plaintiffs in litigation to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA) have appealed an expected but adverse federal district court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder include the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and MSSA President Gary Marbut of Missoula.
The MFFA is designed to test the power of Congress to regulate everything without limits under the narrow power given to Congress in the Constitution to “regulate commerce among the states.” The MFFA declares that any firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal authority under the Commerce Clause. Congress must find some authority among the Constitution’s “enumerated powers” for every action it takes.
Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit MSSA v. Holder on the day the MFFA became effective in Montana, October 1, 2009. Since the MFFA enactment in Montana, the MFFA has been cloned and enacted in seven other states, and FFA bills have been introduced in the legislatures of 20 more states.
In a judgment entered on October 19, 2010, the district court granted the U.S. Motion to Dismiss. It is this judgment that is now appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
MSSA President and plaintiff Gary Marbut commented, “We’ve known all along that the district court will not provide what we seek, the reversal of a half-century of bad Commerce Clause precedent. We need to get to the U.S. Supreme Court for that. This notice of appeal puts us at the 50-yard line in our quest to get to the Supreme Court – it is a big step in the direction we need to go.”
Not only has the FFA concept attracted the interest and support of many other states frustrated with an overbearing federal government, but the MSSA v. Holder lawsuit has attracted an unusual, perhaps record, number of amici (amicus curiae, friends of the court). Some qualified observers say they’ve never seen a case that has attracted as much amici support at the district court level as this case has. Amici include the State of Utah (also representing several other states), Gun Owners Foundation (Gun Owners of America), the Goldwater Institute of Arizona, the Paragon Foundation of New Mexico, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, an amicus group of Montana legislators who supported the MFFA, and another amicus group of non-Montana legislators who sponsored or co-sponsored FFA bills in other states. The State of Montana has also intervened in support of the MFFA. Other amici are expected to enter in support of the MFFA when the lawsuit is argued before Ninth Circuit.
“It is totally obvious from the positions of federal participants, both lawyers and judges for the U.S.,” Marbut commented, “that the federal establishment definitely, almost desperately, wishes to prevent this issue from having a trial on merit.”
The likely options for the Ninth Circuit are to uphold the judgment of the district court or to overrule the district court and remand the case back to the district court for trial. Regardless of what action is taken by the Ninth Circuit, MSSA v. Holder is certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court only reviews the district court dismissal on appeal to it, the Supreme Court can still rule on the merits of the case since part of the grounds for dismissal is based on merit.
Information: Gary Marbut, 406-549-1252
including the internal link to “Montana Lawsuit Updates”